For a Bostonian at the tail end of winter, not taking yourself too seriously is a full time job. The city is literally gray, people are even more ludicrously self-absorbed and xenophobic (as in phobic of non-Bostonians, or anyone who seems like they may possibly be a non-Bostonian) than usual, coffee shop employees have become openly hostile, and bus drivers are highly likely to pass by your stop if you do not throw yourself in front of the bus as it approaches. At this time of year, when the need for spring’s arrival feels increasingly desperate, there is a high probability that people may be drawn to nyquil for more than just medicinal purposes and that involuntary sentimentality over songs from the summer of ’96 may occur at an alarming rate (in private, of course). Outward displays of happiness, joy or exuberance are highly suspect at the beginning of March and may even be construed as some contagious form of lunacy or hysteria.
Or maybe, it’s just me.
At any rate, I find that at this time of year it’s really important to remember what the good things in life are, so here in no particular order are some of my (cold weather) favorites.
chili peppers– these little babies have the ability to transport me to a place where the weather is warm and not responding to e-mail within 7 seconds is considered more than acceptable
vanilla– extract, beans, perfume, body lotion, any form, anyway, anyhow
cinnamon– it’s warm, it’s spicy, it comes from a tree. Put it in your chocolate chip or brownie batter and your friends will think you are some sort of fusion-baking master
coconut– milk, oil, body butter, shredded bits: it is all wonderful. A highly versatile ‘favorite thing’
tea- black, green, herbal whathaveyou. I like making it, steeping it and drinking it. If I could, I would climb into my tea mug and stay there
Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and Gillian Welch– if you are going to get the winter blues, these folks will keep you company and do it well
red wine– sorry beer-drinkers, but I just can’t seem to get up the desire to pop open an nice cold one while hail is pounding the windows. Maybe we need better heating, but for me it’s all about the round, full-bodied, room temperature alcoholic beverage from about November-April
curries– preferably made with coconut milk (see above)
scarves– cashmere, usually these (one of my guilty decadences)
dancing- during optimal times, dancing is a necessity for me, during winter, it’s lifesaving
I’m sure there are more, but you get the idea. Anyway, I’ll be huddled under an overpriced scarf sniffing a bottle of vanilla extract until passover, if anyone needs me. Cheers.